Does an employer have to pay out Vacation hours when laying off an employee in Florida?

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Does an employer have to pay out Vacation hours when laying off an employee in Florida?

I am an exempt salaried employee in Florida. The university I work for will be teaching out the campus I work at and closing down once all current students finish their program. So they already gave all employees notices with end dates. They are offering a severance package but it seems to not include payout of vacation time or sick time.

Asked on July 15, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

FL employers are not required to compensate employers for accrued vacation time upon termination. That having been said, employers may establish their own policy when it comes to such time, including payment for accrued vacation time when an employee is laid off. Also, while the law does not mandate a company to give vacations to workers, it does require that if there is a policy (e.g. in an employee handbook, etc.), that guarantees payment for accrued vacation time or if there is an employment contract or union/collective bargaining agreement that mandates such pay, then the employer must give it. You should note, companies that pay accrued vacation time to some terminated workers but not others could be guilty of legally actionable discrimination. That is, if the non-payment is based on the employee's race, religion, disability, age (over 40), etc. that would be illegal.


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